Let the Customer Voice be Heard

Alex Allwood Customer Experience

Amongst marketing leaders there’s an insatiable appetite for usable customer intelligence to improve experiences. From customer data comes deeper understanding of customer needs that inform a brand’s product and service innovation, marketing communications and sales and service.

Organisations with a customer-centric focus embedded in their culture are measuring their customer relationships to provide deeper customer/brand relationship understanding, insights into future purchasing behaviour, growth of customer recommendations, and measurement of future business performance.

However, the modern marketer now faces data challenges such as customer data that is stuck in organisation silos, a lack of internal analytical skills to analyse the data, and the inability to link data from cross-channels. The financial impact of these challenges is often unrecognised by organisations, leading to significant, hidden loss.

The importance of understanding customer needs, wants and pain points cannot be overestimated, and for this reason Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs now serve as the premium offering in customer experience management. VoC is a term that describes a closed-loop customer experience measurement that facilitates the delivery of better experiences.

Programs consist of the analysis of customer data from Net Promoter Scores, cross-channel surveys, open text comments, qualitative research, employee insights on customer issues, online engagement data and social media feedback. These measures then provide data on drivers of engagement and satisfaction.

What has become evident is the importance of timely collection of customer feedback. Information should be collected within hours of the experience to provide accuracy and this is where the power of mobile is helping brands deliver real-time actionable insights. Gathering information on how customers experience the brand across different touchpoints has a direct effect of fine-tuning the customer experience, and in doing so, increasing the level of customer engagement and satisfaction.

Some companies struggle with getting their customers to give them feedback – we call this survey feedback fatigue and it’s often due to the time it takes to respond to the customer survey. A solution is to gather customer feedback in real-time, enabling customer service problems to be dealt with in the moment.

However, Forrester reports 45% of companies have not established a mechanism for responding to either negative or positive customer feedback, and points to the lack of internal processes such as defining the right actions and prioritising the most important improvement projects as the hurdles that are preventing systematic improvements in customer experience.

Brands with a customer agenda are turning to VoC programs to evaluate the connection between customer behaviour and the experience with deeper understanding on what is driving customer satisfaction. Benefits include optimisation of brand experiences, actioning customer feedback, decreasing customer churn and delivering higher satisfaction that fosters advocacy.

First Published: https://goo.gl/1V84p2

About the Author

Alex Allwood

Alex Allwood’s focus is connecting customer and culture to empower customer-centric growth. Working with B2B2C, Alex helps improve experiences that enhance customer value and distinctively differentiate. With a 20 year track record in leadership, operations and marketing, Alex’s strength is developing customer experience strategy: customer understanding and empathy, experience vision and guiding principles and the customer narrative to enable collaboration and alignment. Alex is principal of the customer experience consultancy, All Work Together; has authored the book Customer Experience is the Brand, regularly facilitates Customer Journey Mapping workshops and is a speaker on customer-centric transformation.